>> A diverse crowd gathered at Town Ballroom for an eye-opening musical and political experience on Tuesday night.
The night began with nothing, nowhere, AKA Joe Mulherin, a rapper, singer, and songwriter from Massachusetts. His enigmatic persona is fascinating and enticing. His music is a melting pot of emo, trap, and alternative pop. His songs are mainly written on the basis of human emotions, lost loves, anxiety issues, or human paranoia. It was the perfect buildup to the headliner.
Small lights lit the stage to three performers, grandson’s silhouette stood proudly at center stage, his fans, or as grandson likes to call them, “grandkids,” stood quietly in anticipation as the atmosphere suddenly changed. A guitar riff broke the silence, a blinding beam of white stage lights pierced the darkness of the venue and the graphics behind the performers were dark and telling.
Jordan Edward Benjamin AKA grandson was a student at the prestigious McGill University. He later decided that music was his true niche and put academics in the rear-view mirror. Grandson covered every inch of politics, filled with rage, gusto, and a voice that just makes people listen. His music integrates heavy, well-produced, roaring beats with high pitch guitar riffs and some of the dirtiest break downs since Warped Tour 2012. It was a politically-fueled mosh pit experience that you’d never forget.
Grandson’s lyrics expose political corruption and touch on highly debated issues in the United States. His song “thoughts & prayers” was released in wake of the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida. The crowd chanted along with him, “No thoughts, no prayers, / Can bring back what's no longer there, / The silent are damned, / The body count is on your heads,” over and over. As the song played, images of people with black Xs over their eyes flash, one after the other. The atmosphere was grim and chilling.
During “Overdose,” a song written about drug addiction and the opioid epidemic in America, grandson stopped singing and began to speak over a rhythmic guitar beat. Grandson told the tale of Purdue Pharma, the makers of OxyContin and their very recent file for bankruptcy. The crowd cheered as he continued to unveil the bleak history of the opioid crisis.
The graphics suddenly changed from obscure renderings of drug paraphernalia to the face of Donald Trump. There was a roar from the crowd and they knew what was coming. Grandson’s Billboard song “Blood//water” consumed every “grandkid” in the venue. The song gained its popularity for its dialogue about political corruption in America. Headbangers raged to the beat in similar frustration and agreeance.
“Stigmata” is grandson’s image of the corruption we face every day. He wrote about a character threatened by the lies being force-fed to the public. The Christian imagery in the lyrics delivers an unsettling truth about corruption and what it can do to a person.
Another crowd favorite from 'A Modern Tragedy,' “6:00” discusses police brutality, an issue that has headlined the news in Buffalo, New York. The mosh-pit forms instantly. Who could blame them? The repetitive bass line is captivating and it's followed by a big grimy bass drop. Grandson sets the bar high for alternative punk bands and EDM artists.
The rage was intoxicating. You could feel the frustration over the political climate in America, it filled the room as grandson preached the thoughts of every unsatisfied liberal. Grandson is an artist, an informant, and an activist. The three facets created a fury that composed his music. He focuses on political issues that are dividing our society and delivers a message of hope amongst all the anger. His music couldn’t have come at a better time. <<